France detects cesium in Japanese tea imports
France has detected radioactive cesium exceeding the EU limit in green tea leaves imported from Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan.
The French food safety authority announced on Friday that it had examined dried tea leaves transported by air from Japan at Charles de Gaulle airport, outside Paris.It said 1,038 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium was discovered.
The amount is about twice the EU limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram. The figure is equal to the Japanese legal limit for considering shipment suspension.
The French government confiscated the 162 kilograms of imported leaves and intends to dispose of them.
This is the first case of Japanese food imports containing radioactive materials exceeding the legal limit being found in France since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The European Union has been requiring member countries to conduct radiation screening of Japanese food imports from 12 prefectures, including Fukushima and Tokyo, since the end of March.
But products from Shizuoka have not been included in the items for examination.
The French government says it will demand the EU add products from Shizuoka to the inspection list.Saturday, June 18, 2011 16:46 +0900 (JST)